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Killer Casting

Mar 23, 2022

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Here in the final week before the 94th Academy Awards, we share this redux of Episode 048 celebrating the wonderful film CODA.

Deservedly, it is up for THREE awards. Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for the brilliant Troy Kotsur. 

If you missed it first time, jump in now and if you heard it last year ...  listen again !

Full transcript: 


Every once in a while a film comes along that simply transports you with its sheer brilliance — the brilliance of the sea shining on a bright, crisp Gloucester morning  CODA is one such film that approaches perfection. CODA (Children Of Deaf Adults) is many things at once, a coming of age story of a child finding her way into adulthood and independence; a rollicking chronicle of a loving hard working family; a damn funny movie that will in turn, touch, move, inspire and awe you.

The success of a film like this hinges not so much on the story (it is a tale we have seen often), but on the casting of these wonderful roles who inhabit a world most of us have never experienced. 

Ruby is the only hearing member of her family where her dad Frank, her mom  Jackie and her older brother Leo are all deaf. Those three roles are played by actors who are deaf in real life — which may seem like obvious casting choices, but in reality, actors who are deaf rarely get a chance to play roles this beautifully drawn. They rarely get to show off their astonishingly talent. But in this film, Troy Kotsur (who Lisa is starting a campaign right now for an Academy Award for this performance), Marlee Matlin and Daniel Durant all get a chance to shine brightly. The precocious Ruby is portrayed in a tour-de-force by Emilia Jones. As final treat, look out for the spellbinding performance of Eugenio Derbez as Bernardo Villalobos, Ruby's music teacher. 

In lesser hands, this film could easily have wallowed in mediocre cliche, but under the assured direction of Sian Heder and with that stellar cast, what shouldn't work does. What should be hackneyed, soars and what could easily be mawkish, will move you to tears.

Joining us to give a true perspective on the portrayal of deaf characters in this film, is the amazing actress/writer/producer Antoinette Abbamonte who is also part of the deaf acting community in Hollywood. And a special shout out goes to our ASL interpreter Nicole Pancino who joined us for Antoinette’s interview.  

We could go ON for hours about this exquisite film .. in fact we almost do !